A little flexibility can do a lot of good
Smart business owners are starting to realize that pigeonholing every individual employee into exactly the same work methods and conditions aren’t going to yield consistent results. Some people work better in different environments, using different tools.
Introducing a degree of flexibility can help you find the working lifestyle that works best for every person in your team. Technology is no longer a boundary to remote working, for instance.
Beyond offering employees the perk of being able to work in whatever environment they want, making them easier to motivate and engage, it also allows you to save the costs of what it would take to make sure they’re provided for in the office. It also offers a much broader range of access to new workforce members.
Reach who you need, when you need to
Communication is a crucial part of workplace productivity. If someone has the information they need from another individual, a question that demands to answer, or a barrier to their own products that someone else could fix, being able to reach them is key. However, it’s not always easy in a bigger business with lots of different teams working together.
To that end, making use of a virtual phone service makes it a lot easier to connect individuals together through an internet phone system instead of physical. It can make it much easier to connect with different departments at the touch of a button.
Virtual phone services also make it much less expensive to keep and manage an extensive network of phones all in one business. These phone systems also work remotely, so you don’t have to worry about anyone working from home or managing their workload on the road is out of touch.
Stop that stuttering
If you ask about the headaches of anyone working with digital technology from day-to-day, you’re likely going to hear one complaint above all else. They’re sick of dealing with computers that are slow, stalling, or otherwise inefficient to work with. If you implement technology in the business, you have to be prepared to deal with the issues they might throw up.
These are more than small annoyances. They are workflow interruptions that can directly result in you getting a lot less done with the day. Thorough maintenance of the hardware can play a big role. But you should also consider putting in place rules about what software gets stored on what device and how much personal storage is allowed on them.
The burden on older computers can even be alleviated some by using virtualization services to use a separate system that handles the demands of running an operating system. This can mean that the device your employee is using has much less work to do and less stress on the system.
Quicker connections, quicker communication, quicker results
If you’re thinking about connecting devices together for the purposes of virtualizing some of your hardware demands, then you should also think about going the whole way and creating an interconnected network of devices throughout the whole workplace.
The advantages of setting up a computer network in a workplace with a large number of devices tend to way outweigh the costs. You can maintain and store all company-wide data on one server, making sure it doesn’t get lost on one computer.
High-quality data cabling makes it much easier for employees to share that data, too, cutting down communication inefficiencies. Access is also flexible, tied to the account of the employee rather than the device they’re using.
Employees can work in a variety of different environments within the same workplace so long as they’re connected via a network.
You can start your project management work, laying out the principles of your plan in your private office. Then you can take it out to a shared space with the team and continue working on it there with them to look at it and offer feedback.
Sticking to the path ahead
Speaking of project management, using software dedicated to it can make the team much more productive, too. Project management software makes it a lot easier for everyone to keep track of what they’re supposed to be doing at what point, where their colleagues are, and any potential problems.
You can see if someone’s progress is slower than it should be, meaning you can step in and offer some coaching to get them up to speed. Process mapping also allows you to identify bottlenecks in advance to see if there’s any way to work around them.
Let the robots take care of it
We can’t forget about all the little tasks that pile up throughout the day to eat away at our time, either. Managing HR data, keeping on top of reporting and organizing expenses, keeping our social media updated.
There’s plenty of automation software available nowadays to help take the burden off you and your employees. You can even automate things like order-to-cash processes and invoices so that your own occasional inability to take care of those tasks won’t affect your business’s potential for profit.
Create better customer relationships
Part of the reason you want to be more productive and efficient is so you can focus on the tasks that are actually going to make you money. What task is more important in doing just that than ensuring you’re providing customers with exactly the information and level of service they need?
When you’re interfacing with customers, having the right information at the right moment is crucial. You can see past issues they’ve had, past purchases, and any pertinent information you’ve thought to make a record of in the past.
To that end, customer relationship management software takes a lot of the workout, keeping records of individuals to the point that when you get an email or a phone call through a virtual network, all the pertinent information about the customers can pop up right there on the screen.
How we track it all
A lot of the tools above are going to help you improve the productivity of individual team members. If they can get the information they need quicker, if they can work from any environment, and automate certain processes, they will get more done.
But to make sure that your changes are actually making the impact they should be, you need to have a way of measuring changes in productivity. Key performance indicators have always played a large hand in tracking individual productivity and KPI software is now taking over that function, too, making it a lot easier to track progress towards goals and how effective your new tech implementations really are.
Of course, it’s a good idea to ask individuals straight up how they feel their new tech tools and methods work, too.
Getting back up on your feet
We mentioned earlier how slow, stuttering and freezing computers can be a drain on time, stopping you from getting the work done that will help you make a profit. If even those small interruptions can cost the business, then how much would a complete system failure or a loss of data cost the business? It doesn’t bear thinking about.
Yet it does happen. For that reason, any business that’s relying on digital technology needs to have a firm policy of regular data backups, both to other physical devices as well as Cloud solutions.
Beyond that, however, your IT services provider can also help you come up with a disaster recovery plan, helping you get back on your feet as soon as possible after a widespread tech problem.
Keep your employees up-to-date
If you’re implementing any new software or hardware changes in the business, then it’s crucial you also spend time training your employees. You should have an integration plan in place to go with the new software. For instance, consider selecting a few tech-savvy employees to trial a new system.
Not only will they help point out any inefficiencies or conflicts. When it comes time to train, you have some experienced team members on your side to help others get to grips with the system.
Above, we’ve looked at how tech can improve your results as far as productivity goes. But don’t forget that tech can help you meet all kinds of different goals, as well.
The right digital marketing strategy can drastically improve lead conversion and customer retention, for instance. If you’re facing a problem in business, then it’s always a good idea to check for available software and hardware solutions as a first step.